Hello Doctor Gail. I want to get a pit bull but my mom says they are too mean. Are they any different from other dogs?
Your mom is right in that some pit bulls have been raised to be mean.
Pit bulls can be wonderful pets but unfortunately have developed a bad reputation—and it is sad because they are actually great dogs. They used to be called ‘nanny dogs’ because they took such good care of children. Your mother or grandmother may remember a television show called ‘Little Rascals’ (picture below). They did everything with their dog, Petey, who was a pit bull.
Like any larger dog, pit bulls need to be raised with love and develop respect for you and other animals. They are very strong and need good obedience training so that they follow commands and don’t pull you over when walking on a leash.
Unfortunately, many landlords won’t let you have a pit bull and there are cities that have even banned them. This is because they are one of the top breeds for biting people, and if they do bite you, it is a big bite.